Pre-empting Your Child’s Scholastic Needs

Children need to learn, which is why they go to school. But what do you do if your child has specific scholastic needs? And how can you ensure your home and household become more learning-friendly without overscheduling yourself or your child? It can be quite the balancing act, but this article will help you figure out where to start.

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Whether your child is ahead or behind, a special educational need requires special action on your part. Honestly, the kind of action in question is not that different; you need to find a positive way to build on your child’s existing knowledge base and encourage them to achieve their potential. But where can you start? And how can your house help them find their way?

The best place to start is with the school. They are obligated to provide your child with the support he or she needs, and will be able to inform you as to what else you can do to help them advance to the full range of their capabilities. Online programmes such as Mathletics, for example, can help your child advance in a safe and fun environment.

That fun element should also be an overwhelming presence in everything you do on a personal level. To achieve this, the first step is ensuring you do not over-charge your child. A full day at school can be quite taxing, and if you then expect your child to sit through several more hours of learning things can easily get fraught and you may find your child becomes bored, impatient, or simply unable to sustain focus for any length of time. Brief sessions that end on a positive note are key; after all, ten minutes daily for a week will achieve far greater results than one single session of seventy minutes, and the brief duration means your child is far less likely to build up a resentment and start fighting you on the educational portion of your day together.

Rewarding your child for doing some extracurricular work is fine, but neither sweets nor a privilege he or she would otherwise receive are a good idea. Sweets can feed into existing food-related issues or even create new ones, and an existing privilege will feel like a cheat; if, for example, your child is usually allowed to watch a particular show and you decide to make the show contingent on an educational achievement, they will likely grow resentful. Instead, come up with an entirely new reward. For example, agree to play a board game together at the end of a week during which your child has consistently done his or her best during extracurricular learning sessions.

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Setting up a corner of your home, either in your child’s room or in the communal areas, for these scholastic additions is a good idea. Keep all the supplies required in one place, and ask your child to help you decorate the area or the box you store the supplies in. This will help him or her gain a sense of ownership of the work involved.

All things considered, helping children achieve academically is a bit of a bugbear for most parents. But if you ensure it stays fun and your child is rewarded based on his or her efforts rather than his or her achievements, you can foster a love of learning that will see him or her meeting and exceeding every target placed in their way.